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Monday, December 26, 2011

Holidays 101: #23- After the Gifts

Teaching kids to express thanks for their gifts is a teaching them a life skill.  It's not on any resume, but it surely is noticed in the workplace.  I've posted previously about easy ways to do actual thank you notes [Nov, 17, 2011 post] and even recommended a marvelous book about one man's experiment with thank you notes [Nov 26, 2011].

Holiday thank yous are especially easy if you plan a bit.
Here are a couple of options and ideas not covered in the Nov 17th post.

Write a list of the gifts the children receive from people outside the home.  Plan a time the day after Christmas to make a phone call to each person.  Have the kids primed and reminded of who gave what.  Do only one or two calls then take a break or the kids will lose spirit and you will lose the gratitude effect!

If you have a cell phone with photo and email capability, take a quick photo of the smiling child with the gift.  Help them send a quick thank you text with the photo attached to each giver. Again, do one or two at a time to keep the spirits cheerful.

1- Make it a rule that after Christmas Day no child is allowed to play with, wear, or use a gift UNTIL they have completed the thank you for the gift!

2- No television, screen [computer, tablet, or phone] each day until at least two thank yous are done.

3- My favorite [because it is rewards based not punishment based]......Plan a special thank you celebration treat that is earned when all the thank yous are completed. [Maybe consider a family movie, game day, chore-free day, or other unusual treat.]

Last thought:
I still believe that nothing is as special to receive as a hand done thank you note such as those I discussed on Nov 17th, but hopefully the ideas above will make thank yous [written or otherwise] more prompt and less painful. No matter what the language, or what the method.... everyone appreciates a Thank You.         ......Good luck!

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